Ancient Stoicism and Modern Humanism

Date: Tuesday, 26 November 2019 19:30

Venue: The B-Bar, Barbican Theatre

Before it was largely swept away by Christianity, Stoicism was a very popular philosophy in the ancient world, providing practical guidance on how to live a good life.

It’s had a resurgence in recent years, with well-known skeptic Massimo Pigliucci being one of its advocates. Although a lot of the modern focus is on the advice Stoicism gives when facing up to life’s difficulties, it’s a far broader philosophy than that.

We’re delighted to have Chris Gill coming to talk to us about Stoicism this month.  His talk will outline some of its key ethical ideas and ask how credible or valuable they seem to be from the standpoint of modern humanism. The main ideas are those relating to virtue and happiness, and also ethical and emotional development. Stoics also linked their ideas about human ethics with ideas about nature, the universe and god (in their sense) and Chris will ask how much of a problem this poses for humanists.

Chris Gill is a retired professor of ancient philosophy at the University of Exeter; he has been active in recent years in 'Modern Stoicism', a movement designed to present Stoic ideas as a basis for life-guidance.

Our events are free and open to all, although we do ask for a voluntary contribution to cover speaker's expenses.


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